# Read the letters to the editor in a newspaper, magazine, or online bulletin board or blog.

Read the letters to the editor in a newspaper, magazine, or online bulletin board or blog.

Assignment 1: Argument Mapping
Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:
(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 3 located at the end of Chapter 1 for criteria 1-3.)

Along with other policy-analytic methods discussed earlier in this chapter (Figure 1.1), the influence diagram and decision tree are useful tools for structuring policy problems.52 The influence diagram (Figure C1.3) displays the policy, the National Maximum Speed Limit, as a rectangle. A rectangle always refers to a policy choice or decision node, which in this case is the choice between adopting and not adopting the national maximum speed limit of 55 mph. To the right and above the decision node are uncertain events, represented as ovals, which are connected to the decision node with arrows showing how the speed limit affects or is affected by them. The rectangles with shaved corners represent valued policy outcomes or objectives. The objectives are to lower fuel consumption, reduce travel time, reduce injuries, and avert traffic fatalities. To the right of the objectives is another shaved rectangle, which designates the net benefits (benefits less costs) of the four objectives. The surprising result of using the influence diagram for problem structuring is the discovery of causally relevant economic events, such as the recession and unemployment, which affect miles driven, which in turn affect all four objectives. The “root cause” appears to be the OPEC oil embargo.

Create an argument map based on the influence diagram presented in Case 1.3 and complete all the criteria provided in the exercise, beginning with this claim: “The U.S. should return to the 55- mph speed limit in order to conserve fuel and save lives.”
Include in the map as many warrants, backings, objections, and rebuttals as possible.
Assume that the original qualifier was certainly; indicate whether the qualifier changes as we move from a simple, static, uncontested argument to a complex, dynamic and contested argument.
(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 3 located at the end of Chapter 8 for criterion 4.)

Apply the argument mapping procedures presented in Chapter 8 to analyze the pros and cons (or strengths and weaknesses) of the recommendations that the United States should not intervene in the Balkans.
(Note: Refer to Demonstration Exercise 4 located at the end of Chapter 8 for criteria 5-7.)

DEMONSTRATION EXERCISES

1.Obtain an online or hard copy of the international affairs section of a newspaper. Identify and describe as many modes of argument as you can. Would you expect to find different modes of argument in academic journals than in newspapers? Explain.

2.Read the letters to the editor in a newspaper, magazine, or online bulletin board or blog. Find as many examples of formal and informal fallacies as you can. A variation of this exercise is to break into groups to complete the assignment.

3.Read Case 8.1 (Pros and Cons of Balkan Intervention), which is drawn from an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Use the argument-mapping procedures presented in this chapter to analyze the pros and cons (or strengths and weaknesses) of the recommendation that the United States should not intervene in the Balkans. In doing this exercise, either display the elements of argument with Microsoft Draw or use Rationale, the special computer program for mapping the structure of policy arguments.

4.Write a one-page analysis in which you assess the overall plausibility of the claim “The conflict in Bosnia is somebody else’s trouble. The United States should not intervene militarily.” Prepare an argument map and hand it in with your one-page analysis.

5.Following is an argument map in which the warrants, backings, objections, rebuttals, and qualifiers have been scrambled.57 Rearrange the elements to make a persuasive argument and counterargument. Study Case 8.2 as an example.

Write a one (1) page analysis that uses critical thinking to assess the overall plausibility of the claim: “The conflict in Bosnia is somebody else’s trouble. The U.S. should not intervene militarily.”
Complete an argument map to illustrate your analysis.
Include at least two (2) peer-reviewed references (no more than five [5] years old) from material outside the textbook to support your views. Note: Appropriate peer-reviewed references include scholarly articles and governmental Websites. Do not use open source Websites such as Wikipedia, Sparknotes.com, Ask.com, and similar Websites are not acceptable resources.

Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
Use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Draw, PowerPoint, or other graphics program to create the arguments maps for the assignment. Whichever program you use, the graphical maps must be integrated into the Word Document and labeled as a Figure with a number and title. The argument maps are part of the page length.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

Analyze the historical context, basic concepts, strategies, and / or models of public policy.
Examine the nature, characteristics, models, and / or methods pertinent to the structuring of policy problems.
Examine the process of policy argument development.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in policy analysis and program evaluation.
Write clearly and concisely about policy analysis and program evaluation using proper writing mechanics.
Read the letters to the editor in a newspaper, magazine, or online bulletin board or blog.